The Soul Is Reflected in Our Thoughts

Before I begin this chapter, let’s quickly review what we have learned over the last few chapters. First, we established that the soul has three garments — thought, speech, and action — and that we can choose when to put them on or take them off. The next chapter taught us that even when we don’t feel like it or are not in the “mood,” we can always find a way into the thoughts and garments that we choose. We then learned that the only way to take control of our thoughts is to consciously be aware of what we are thinking and (divert our mind to) think the thoughts and ideas we want to.

Thoughts are continuous and always connected to the soul. Unlike speech, where there is a time to speak and a time to be quiet, thoughts (thinking) are constant and more deeply attached to the soul. Because the garment of thought (thinking) is always worn and is closest to the soul, thoughts greatly influence a person. Also, the stain that comes from one’s thoughts, whether for better or not, will be deeper on one’s soul.

We see in clothes. When a person puts on nice clothing, he changes his mood and feels good and honorable. Garments in the Talmud are called “my honor” because they bestow honor. When one dons honorable and proper clothing, he will feel admirable and will be treated admirably, and so it goes with the dress of the soul; garments will manipulate the actual soul positively or negatively. All positive speech, action, and thought will positively affect the soul, and the same is true of the negative.

With enough repetition, the garments of our soul — of which we are always in control (of putting on or taking off) — will eventually shape the actual character of the soul for now, and for all eternity.

The spark of Godliness inside ourselves that defines who we are and remains alive even after leaving this world will be formed forever by the habits and garments we regularly decide to place over our souls.

A person’s service to God is judged by his/her choices regarding the clothing of the soul. What he is left with to stand before God is the result of those choices.

After a while, with enough routine and habit, the thoughts that become automatic, due to our past choices, will express the character and nature of what our souls and — what we ourselves — have become. For a person who has decided to involve himself in wisdom, intellectual thought comes to mind. For a person who has decided to think joyously, cheerful and joyful thoughts will start flowing automatically.

For some people, the thought of murder never enters their minds. For others, the thought to contribute to society positively will never enter their minds. In the end, what we think results from how we train ourselves to think.

The fact that thoughts manifest the personality and character traits of the soul brings a particular gravity and attention to the content of one’s thinking. Proper thoughts reflect a healthy soul, while empty, vain thoughts reflect an empty and confused soul. Even when these are irregular, occurring only occasionally, thoughts remain a reflection of the soul’s character.

Chapter 5

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" Rabbi Ezagui opened in 1987 the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the Island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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